Loving where you live

Last Sunday afternoon we were aching for some time in the quiet of wilderness and some time at a lake.  In Brevard, our backyard is Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Park, some of the most gorgeous areas in Western NC.  We hiked (walked, really) out to Lake Julia in DuPont for the afternoon, bringing a picnic dinner.  It was so lovely, quiet, peaceful.  Our recent weeks have been busy and harried with moving preparations, and it is so good for us as a family to reconnect in the outdoors, the avenue through which Brandon and I fell in love in the first place.  We hope to pass onto our kids our love for God’s creation.  No matter where you live, it’s important to find fun ways to get out and explore it and enjoy it!  And here, in these beautiful North Caroline mountains, there are certainly no shortages of beautiful and accessible getaways.  Here are a few snaps I took from our time together, marveling over the simple but profound gifts God has given us.  This wild beauty.  These precious children.  Their unique ways and personalities.  The bond between them.  Able bodies.  The uncertain road before us.  Journeying through it all together.  The Gospel that makes sense of everything and gives us rest every day, a foretaste of glory now.  Unspeakable joy, unfathomable grace.










DSC_0027 DSC_0030

DSC_0031 DSC_0033_2 DSC_0035 DSC_0037 DSC_0038









DSC_0063 DSC_0064 DSC_0065

DSC_0068 DSC_0069 DSC_0071








DSC_0095 DSC_0097 DSC_0098



“Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.”
{Psalm 23:6 MSG}

Counting His graces

“The initial step for a soul to come to knowledge of God is contemplation of nature.”

DSC_0212 DSC_0214

“Some people, in order to discover God, read books.  But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things.  Look above you!  Look below you!  Read it.  God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink.  Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made.  Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”
{St. Augustine}

DSC_0219 DSC_0221 DSC_0222 DSC_0223 DSC_0226 DSC_0227 DSC_0229

“Christ wears ‘two shoes’ in the world: Scripture and nature.  Both are necessary to understand the Lord, and at no stage can creation be seen as a separation of things from God.”
{John Scottus Eriugena}

DSC_0235 DSC_0239 DSC_0242DSC_0241 DSC_0248 DSC_0250

“Nature is schoolmistress, the soul the pupil; and whatever one has taught or the other has learned has come from God–the Teacher of the teacher.”

DSC_0254 DSC_0255 DSC_0256 DSC_0257 DSC_0259 DSC_0260 DSC_0261DSC_0266 DSC_0268 DSC_0276

“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.”
{St. John of Damascus}

DSC_0280 DSC_0289 DSC_0292 DSC_0297

“I see You in the field of stars
I see You in the yield of the land
In every breath and sound, a blade of grass, a simple flower,
An echo of Your holy Name.”
{Abraham Ibn Ezra}

DSC_0298 DSC_0301

“See that I am God.  See that I am in everything.  See that I do everything.
See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally.
See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began,
by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it.
How can anything be amiss?”
{Julian of Norwich}

DSC_0303 DSC_0304 DSC_0307 DSC_0310

“I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you the clear remembrance of the Creator.”
{Basil the Great}

DSC_0312 DSC_0315DSC_0317DSC_0318DSC_0319

“Everywhere windows and gates, and I did not know it.  No.
I have known it and I have forgotten it and I remember it again.”
{Ann Voskamp}



Sometimes a hard week calls for the rest of soul that comes from escaping into the wild for a bit.  Going where only the sound of wind, and birds, buzzing bees, and hushed voices live.

Leaving behind the busy world and going where your soul can grow a size or two,
expanding and remembering that we live to collect moments, not things.

And in these moments, ordinary, simple, we find we are counting His gifts.

“Counting His graces makes all moments into one holy kiss of communion
and communion comes in the common.
He will break bread and I will take and the world is His feast!”
{Ann Voskamp}

Going where the voice of man is quieted, absent almost.  And the voice of God is amplified.
Looking into what He has made and seeing how His invisible qualities are written over each one {Rom.1:20}, how the expanse of sky is declaring His glory {Ps. 19:1}.

This is what brings rest to our souls on the Sabbath: the coupling of the Word of God spoken over us, the quiet expanse of the Creation singing over us.

come ye weary


“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me.
Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

{Matthew 11:28-30 MSG}